03/20/2014 04:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Dreaded Day

This cannot be happening.

The adorable little girl standing in the flower bed with her little summer outfit and the tiny shoes that would fit in my cereal bowl is turning 18 today.


I know I should be extremely proud of her.

Proud that she's funny, caring, sensible, good-natured and incredibly intelligent. That she's a solid A student. That she's already been accepted at eight of the 10 colleges she has applied to and still waiting to hear from eight more. That she's kind to her mother, her sister and sometimes her father. That's she's a good driver, a hard worker and a talented photographer.

I should be proud and happy and glowing about all of that.

But the truth is, I want to scream.

I want to make it stop.

I want to come home from work and see her crawling on all fours in the backyard.

I want to read to her about Zundel the Tailor before she nods off to sleep.

I want to see her marvel at the workings of a garden hose.

I want to lather her hair up with shampoo and make a faux hawk.

I want to see her giggling on stage during the first grade production of "Guys and Dolls."

I want to lay on the carpet and play Pretty Princess with her and her sister.

I want what I'm finding out every parent wants, a chance to do it over again.

Only smarter, better, kinder.

Less concerned whether a client likes a rough cut and more in the moment of being a Dad.

Truth is, I'd empty half the bank account -- not the whole thing, cause I don't want to end up in a dirty nursing home -- to relive any part of what is now just a memory.

This magical Sunday morning would be a good place to start.